The Uttar Pradesh government, on Sunday, September 1, 2019, said that there has been a "sharp decline" in the number of cases and deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) this year, according to a report published in Outlook.
In a statement issued by the UP government, Devesh Chaturvedi, principal secretary, Medical, Health & Family Welfare Department said that as many as 34 deaths have been caused due TO AES till August 27, while 890 patients of the disease have been admitted. As far as Japanese Encephalitis is concerned, only 4 deaths were reported till August 27, while 55 patients suffering from Japanese Encephalitis have been admitted.
Chaturvedi went on to add that in 2016, the number of AES patients stood at 3,911 with 641 deaths reported and in 2017, the patients' count rose to 4724, with 655 deaths being reported.
However, the statistics showed a downward trend in 2018 when there were 3,077 AES patients and 248 AES deaths.
Similarly, according to the health official, in 2016 there were 74 deaths from JE, while the total JE patients stood at 442. Furthermore, 2017 saw 93 JE deaths with 692 patients being detected with the disease. On the contrary, 2018 saw a decline both in a number of patients as well as JE deaths.
"The cases of death due to AES and JE witnessed a sharp decline in 2019," Outlook reported him as saying.
As per the National Health Portal of India, Japanese Encephalitis is a viral disease that infects animals and humans. It is transmitted by mosquitoes in humans causing inflammation of the membranes around the brain. Notably, JE is a leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia generally spread from the western pacific region in east to Pakistan in the west and from Korea in the north to Papua New Guinea in the south.
The National Health Portal further states that Japanese encephalitis is a disease caused by a flavivirus that affects the membranes around the brain.
While infections caused by Japanese encephalitis virus are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but sometimes 1 in 200 infections can result in severe disease that is characterised by rapid onset of high-grade fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and finally, death.